Neelima Fernandes


Diploma in Strategy and Innovation


United Kingdom





By Neelima Fernandes

A journey to remember, the Oxford way

Being a mother of two very young children can be quite a challenge most days and to be able to commit to additional responsibilities and a change in lifestyle can be a challenging yet an amazing experience. It has been a few months since I enrolled myself on to this course and I have to say that it was the best decision I have ever made.

Returning to school after a long hiatus can be daunting to anyone. It involves finding those extra hours that you never seemed to have in the first place. Although, it is grit, hard work and determination that gets us through life in most instances and I’m hoping that this situation is no different.

After much deliberation last year, I finally decided to get a deeper understanding into how DipSI could potentially benefit my professional life. So I attended one of the Open day sessions. Admittedly, I am well aware that the academic world is dramatically different to the corporate world. There’s no consensus as to which one is best or more lucrative in terms of enriching professional lives, as they both have their own pertinent aspects that drew us all to it. What is crucial, is extracting those theoretical aspects from the course and applying the same to a working environment. As I embarked on this insightful journey, I had little or no inkling as to where this was going, whom I was going to meet and how many hours of dedicated work it required every week.

The one thing that strikes me about my 2015 cohort is how relaxed and at ease everyone seems. Despite life’s onerous schedules (not to mention the pressure of completing this course, journey times, jet lags and room bookings in the city), everyone in class seems to have fitted this course effortlessly into their busy lives, taking it all in their stride. That’s a commendable display of composure and professionalism.

The best part about this course so far is the fact that we invented a drink called the Dipsi, which is now available on the drinks menu at Oriel College 🙂 (on second thoughts, we must look into changing the name in order to patent this concoction). Professors who are instrumental in running this programme and making it as interesting as possible, are a real asset to this course. The plethora of experiences from various backgrounds and the professionalism that this cohort brings to these classroom sessions is truly indispensable. We’ve managed to organise a couple of study sessions so far and the level of knowledge and the amount of detail that everyone is willing to get into, is invaluable.

We all are looking forward to our next module already and what a brilliant way to spend a week with some exceptionally talented, knowledgeable, experienced and down to earth professionals. Its not just the course and the contents that makes this entire experience an incredible one but its the group in its entirety and their contribution to this course is what makes it priceless, in my eyes.

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